If you’ve never made a homemade spaghetti sauce, you’ll be surprised with how simple it is. It’s easy and it allows you to avoid preservatives and other additives that are found in prepared jar sauces and packaged seasoning mixes. And…it’s delicious.
When dining at a famous Italian restaurant in the San Francisco Bay area many years ago, I discovered a surprise ingredient in their spaghetti sauce. Celery. I’ve used it in my sauce ever since!
If you or some of those you are serving prefer a smooth sauce, you can remove the bay leaf at the end and use an immersion blender in the pan to blend the sauce until smooth. I like to make a meatless spaghetti sauce, but you could brown sausage and/or ground beef, while sautéing the onions and celery.
This sauce doesn’t have to simmer all day, in fact, I prefer it when I make it right before dinner, so it only simmers for 30 to 60 minutes. I’ve also been known to make the sauce a few days ahead and store it in the refrigerator to have it ready for slow reheating over the stove while I’m cooking pasta. This gives the convenience of a jar sauce, the goodness of homemade!
Once you have the basics down, you can adjust the amount of your ingredients to best suit your taste. Plus, it’s easy to accommodate the recipe to serve more people. It could be as simple as adding another can of tomatoes and a little more seasoning.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1 28 oz can tomatoes, pureed
- 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 1 can sliced mushrooms
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- In a large saucepan heat olive oil. Add in the onion and celery and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and sauté just until aromatic. Stir in the Italian seasoning. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and mushrooms. Stir to combine. Add salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and bay leaf.
- Simmer for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to prevent splattering. Spoon sauce over spaghetti and serve immediately.